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I was boned by my dog Parvo yesterday.

It was a family sort-of affair, our

typical nuclear fam-damily

gathered around the dinner table to

actually, factually break bread

together without the intrusion of

Nickelodeon's "Aaah!!! Real Monsters"

or "Pete and Pete" (although the

latter is my own personal raving

fave), forks aloft and ready to

commence shoveling in a tasty pork

butt cubed, when it all blew.

Parvo, a hound many of you dads will

remember is a hillbilly Shepherd

who may be a mutt that by

happenstance looks Germanic, or

may simply be the product of the

unholy union of his mother and her own

doggy-brother, was gaily munchy-wunchin'

on a circular marrow bone about the

size of a generous napkin

ring holder when he began baying in

a horrifying series of blood-curdling

yaps, yips, howls and screams ---

a canine cacophony enough to rattle

even a dead man to the very bone.

The dog jerked and flopped, spasmodically

bouncing off the four corners of our

humble dining room making

a wild piston-like digging motion

at his snoot with both paws.

The children began sobbing inconsolably.

My wife went a rather unflattering ashen white.

The pork butt cubed remained stalwart and stoic.

Parvo somehow managed to push his marrow bone

up on his jaw, wedging it behind his

bottom incisors and encircling his lower snout,

and nothing he was doing would dislodge it.

He wasn't choking, but he

couldn't shut his mouth either, and the

grating of the gnarly bone coupled with

his wild clawing and

digging loosed a torrent

flood of blood and doggy saliva.

Dinner was looking less and less attractive.

My wife and I, models for our children

in times of crisis, opened that special

intuitive line of communication that we

have always shared in our storybook

marriage of nearly two decades, and together

the dialogue ensued that would save our

poor pooch, and surely serve as an abject

lesson in crisis management to the kids.






"I found it RIGHT HERE in the White Pages

"under 'V,' smartass!"

"You found WHAT??"

"Vet clinic --- EMERGENCY VET CLINIC."

"But you SHOULD have looked in the YELLOW pages."

Parvo shook his head furiously,

adorning the room with bloody

spirals of saliva not unlike the

prom decorations in "Carrie."




"You couldn't find your ASS WITH


The vet at the emergency clinic told us

this sort of thing happens at least once

a week, (the bone thing, not

the phone booth thing), and that

"...they usually get 'em off themselves

"after awhile."

But as Parvo shinnied his snoot

in a bloody path along our

decimated carpeting, it didn't seem the

situation would be resolving itself any time soon.

Now, we've had our fair share of

pet emergencies running all up and down

the Darwinian scale.

My daughter, who like me in the halcyon

days of youth, won a fish at a fair by tossing

a ping pong ball at a pyramid of goldfish bowls,

learned about the Reaper's insidious ways

just as her new friend "Judy" was settling

into underwater life in

our mundane little household. "Judy"

happily navigated her tap water world,

and my daughter dutifully

fed her a healthy pinch of fishy flakies.

But in the morning, it was painfully

obvious that Judy had kakked,

and in a solemn family moment,

we committed her earthly remains to

our garden where to this day she

serves as a nutrient emulsion for

our habañero and cayenne plants.

The next day a blue cylindrical

polymer block floated where Judy had

spent her all-too-brief

yet immeasurably happy fishy tenure.

"What's with the block?"

"That's not a block that's Cedric."


The blue, buoyant proxy-fish lives

happily even now, though the sight

of "Cedric" makes me wonder if one day I will be

substituted by a draft beer-barrel

posing as a proxy dad upon my untimely

(and apparently nearing) demise.

But in the urgent present, the panic-stricken Parvo

was contorting himself wildly in grave danger

with only his yay-hoo owners to put him to rights.

The dog wouldn't let us touch him,

and being the cheap-a-zoidal creep I am,

I would not assent to the monstrously

expensive after-hours vet ER without

trying to extricate that soup bone ourselves.

"Crisco up your hand, and I'LL HOLD HIM DOWN!"

I bellowed as I took a flying leap toward

old Parvo and pinned him down like

Bo Bo Brazil would've done back when

Big Time Wrestling was really really real. (?)

I pinned that cur and he bucked like

a mule, digging tracks through my pants

and into my flesh with his hind claws.

"I got him --- I GOT him!!"

My wife yanked at his snoot for all she

was worth but Parvo reared back in a

mighty retreat, sending her

flying across the kitchen into the trash can,

and throwing me, SMASH!! into a

recycling bag full of empty porter bottles

like a mechanical bull in a sleazy disco bar.

He galloped off, flailing and wailing.

Dazed, my wife and I stared blankly at

one another for a suspended second.

It wasn't the first time we'd

shared a semi-conscious moment together,

but the last time had probably been in

college when urine tests were not a

mandated precondition for employment.

Sporting standard dad-issue worn-out jean shirt

and even worner jean trou, I shakily

fought my way upright. From stem to

stern, your favorite dad was now clad in

blood, doggy spit and again more blood.

To the casual observer, it would have

seemed our little family had been visited

by the Krenwinkles, van Houtens and Watsons

whose next move would surely be to scrawl


(sic Mansons, FYI) in hound-dog hemoglobin

on the old 'fridge right under the crepe paper

collages and spelling papers.

When the smoke cleared, I hadda lay out

93 Samoleans for the after-hour vets

to drug doggy with downs

and saw off the 12-cent soupbone.

It was well below zero out there

with the unrelenting Great Lakes

windchill, and we nearly totaled

the car in an unexpected skid sending our

(not yet paid for) car careening

toward an icy intersection.

Parvo continued bleeding all over

the upholstery on the way to the ER,

then stunk up both the flivver and our

lovely suburban home to high heaven

with the gaping pus-dripping sores

ringing his mouth where the soup bone

had lodged itself.

Parvo wobbled back into the house,

splayed himself in front of the 'tube,

and began to zeee-out into a barbiturate

haze, lulled off by the Bronxian patter of

that comic genius, Al "Grandpa" Lewis

(the episode where he generates his own

electricity for the Munster household,

if I'm not mistaken).

Yet, the dadly indignities on this

most egregious eve were far from over,

o dear dads.

"When can we get a kitty?" asked my daughter,

laying me to waste.

"Gimme ninety bucks for new Nikes!"

spat my son, stabbing me

square in the heart.

"Forget about Tim Allen, we're

"watching 'Frasier,' " my wife informed,

dealing me a final and

stinging death blow.

Last "dads"
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©2003 Arhythmiacs
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